Hobby Lobby does not have to follow HHS mandate

The Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling today in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby dictating that privately held corporations with religious beliefs do not have to provide contraceptives under the HHS mandate. This includes emergency contraceptives like morning after pills that may cause abortions.

According to the Associated Press:

The justices’ 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.

Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion for the court.

The ruling applies only to for-profit corporations that are only under control of a few people, and the decision applies to the contraceptive mandate, not other insurance mandates.

The case was brought by Hobby Lobby, a retail chain owned by the Green family. The Greens agreed to cover 16 of the 20 birth control methods as stipulated by the Obamacare mandate, but they refused to cover the other four, which carry a risk of abortion that goes against the Greens’ religious beliefs.

Hobby Lobby argued before the court that the mandate is in violation of the Religious Freedom of Restoration Act of 1993, which states that the government cannot place burdens on the exercise of religion.